Derriaghy title delight

Derriaghy celebrate lifting the NCU Ulster Bank league 1 title last weekend, The local side will now return to the Premier League after an absence of seven years. Pic by Cricket Ireland.

Derriaghy celebrate lifting the NCU Ulster Bank league 1 title last weekend, The local side will now return to the Premier League after an absence of seven years. Pic by Cricket Ireland.

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Derriaghy held their nerve to record wins over Templepatrick and Woodvale last weekend, to lift the NCU Ulster Bank league 1 title.

In a season never to be forgotten by Captain Craig Lewis and his men, they recorded 14 wins from 18 games, including 10 in a row.

In the end they finished eight points clear of nearest challengers and pre-season title favourites Muckamore.

For 2016 they will be back in the Premier league of the Northern Cricket Union and the players are already anticipating two tasty derbies against neighbours Lisburn.

Derriaghy captain Craig Lewis said he was ‘overjoyed’ to secure the league title, which sees the Queensway side back in the top flight after an absence of seven years.

“It feels brilliant, we never thought we would be here six months ago,” the captain said.

“I’m just overjoyed for the boys, they are a great bunch of lads,” he said. “We made a change to the batting order after we lost the first couple of matches this season, and the young boys started to come good and myself and Alfy (Kaushik Aphale) decided to actually score some runs.”

The odds might be stacked against Derriaghy with the gap between the top two divisions widening but Lewis is adamant his young side won’t be intimidated.

“We’re going to have to pre-season hard, the boys know it’s not going to be easy, we will be in a battle every week, but we will be up for it,” he added.

“We certainly won’t be going out looking for people, we will go with what we have,” Lewis said.

“Of course if say they want to come to us, they are very welcome, but we are not going to be throwing money around. Alfie is back for certain.”

Craig Lewis, in his first full season as captain, led from the front both in terms of personal performance and leadership qualities and his troops repaid him with hard work and dedication.

The captain had an outstanding year with both bat and ball, scoring well in excess of 1000 runs and capturing lots of vital wickets.

Professional Kaushik Aphale, in his second spell at the club, also produced ‘the goods’ hitting runs.

It was a pleasure to see such a youthful team display an excellent spirit and a belief that they had the ability to win every game even when the odds seemed stacked against them.